The aim of this study course is to explore what it means to be a disciple of Christ. We will be looking at the Bible and reading about the experiences
of Christians around the world.
We do not intend to offer definitive answers, but rather encourage you or your study group to investigate what discipleship means to you personally
We hope the result will be that we feel more able to live an authentic life, being true to ourselves, true to those we meet, and true to God.
We have allocated a space as part of each study for you to note down something you have learned that you could incorporate into your practice of discipleship.
Some thoughts on discipleship
- According to the Oxford Dictionary, a disciple is ‘a follower or pupil of a teacher, leader or philosopher.’
- The word disciple is derived from the Latin discipulus, meaning pupil, from discere, to learn.
- The Greek term for ‘disciple’ in the New Testament is mathetes, which means more than just ‘student’ or ‘learner’: a disciple is a ‘follower’, someone who adheres to the teachings of another, making them their model for life.
- Jesus’ followers were called disciples long before they were ever called Christians. Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to respond by following him, and resulted in following him through his ministry, death and resurrection. The word ‘disciples’ is found 233 times in the Gospels.
Some thoughts on authenticity
- Christ calls us to be authentic. We are not called to be perfect, but to turn to God as we seek to become more Christ-like in our discipleship.
- A disciple is not required to live the Christian life in isolation. Instead, we are encouraged to seek the support of our brothers and sisters, locally and globally.
- According to the Oxford Dictionary, authentic means ‘of undisputed origin, not a copy, genuine, faithfully resembling the original, based on facts, accurate, reliable.’
How to use this course
- Give space for everyone to speak who wants to.
- Let your group be a safe and confidential space in which people feel able to share.
- Allow for differences of opinion. One of the important qualities of the Anglican Communion is that it seeks to hold unity in diversity: we can disagree, or hold different perspectives, but still be one in Christ.
- Be willing to think differently. Rather than trying to find the ‘right’ answer to a question, instead be curious and interested in the many different perspectives and points of view that people have to offer.
- There is a lot of material in this course. You may wish to pick and choose which questions you would like to answer.